Skip to comments.Andy Lopez Family Files Claim vs. Sonoma County
Posted on 11/02/2013 5:28:18 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
Lawyers for the family of a 13-year-old Santa Rosa boy carrying a replica rifle and killed by a deputy when he said the teen wouldnt put it down, have filed three claims against Sonoma County and plan to file a federal lawsuit in the wake of the boys death.
In the claims, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the firm of Moreno, Becerra and Casillas, based in Montebello, Calif., allege that the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office failed to develop proper policies and training for pedestrian stops, and that it negligently hired and continued to employ the deputies involved in the shooting.....
A claim must be filed before a lawsuit can be filed.
Erick Gelhaus, the deputy who fired eight rounds at Andy on Oct. 22, has told investigators with the Santa Rosa police department that the airsoft rifle Andy was carrying looked just like an AK-47 and that he ordered Andy to drop it.
Police have reported that Andy turned toward the deputy with the barrel raised, according to the account provided by Gelhaus and his unnamed partner....
In December 2012, the firm of Moreno Becerra & Casillas won a $24 million jury verdict against the Los Angeles Police Department after the shooting and paralyzing a 13-year-old boy who was playing cops and robbers with an airsoft gun....
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said at the time:
"When our officers are confronted with a realistic replica weapon in the field, they have to react in a split second to the perceived threat. If our officers delay or don't respond to armed suspects, it could cost them their lives.
(Excerpt) Read more at nbcbayarea.com ...
the officers are pigs and I hope they are prosecuted
"By the time the deputy who was driving was able to pull across the intersection at West Robles Avenue and into the oncoming lane of Moorland Avenue, Gelhaus had already begun shooting at Lopez, Henry said."
Does that mean that the order to drop the gun was given from a moving vehicle and inside of it?
Does it mean that the officer was shooting while the vehicle was moving -- a drive by shooting so to speak?
Does that mean that the deputy was shooting across the car at the kid and thus had the engine block for protection between himself and the kid??
How do you fear for your life in that case when you have every advantage on your side and the victim has none???
Meanwhile his partner is the one exposed and he holds his fire.
When law officers are given the right to pull the trigger and end a person’s life, said officers should be held personally responsible if they made a mistake.
Yes, go after the city, county, state, their CO...whatever, but burn the person that made that split-second decision in error.
“Cops and robbers” at 13? I wonder if the kid was mentally retarded? By 13 I was way past the toy gun stage.
The shooter at LAX yesterday who actually had an operable weapon, had actually used it to kill someone moments earlier, was in the process of using it, and was a real danger to others, received more quarter and more restraint from LE than this kid who was just minding his own business.
Were you past the bebe gun stage?
what is wrong with you that you would post such drivel
“Were you past the bebe gun stage?”
Yeah, as a matter of fact, I was.
Maybe he was playing the part of the "cops" in preparation for a career at the LAPD.
Charlie probably sloughed it off as a "friendly fire" accident.
This is not the case now. Now I avoid contact with them like the plague.
Age DOES make a difference because of the conflict a developing male experiences between orders, training and conditioning against the maturation process.
You can know all the rules and ace a test, but the street is where it is all supposed to work correctly ... which is not to say it will always be the chapter you read.
I just paid a school tax and part of that tax was "occupation tax" . Ten bucks just for living and working in my township.
I've known my tax lady for a number of years and she asked, "Are you still working or anyone in your home working?"
I replied no, my wife is my wife and I'm retired.
She, with a pen, crossed through my ten dollar line and subtracted it from the total.
Right in the office!
And she didn't call Washington DC or the IRS for permission
Just acted like a thinking American ... said, "That ain't right ", and corrected it.
Y'don't learn that in tax school and you don't get a pair of balls with your diploma .... that comes from experience.
What’s interesting is that they are filing a federal lawsuit charging a violation of his 4th Amendment Rights protecting citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Good for them.
The shooter was 48 with 24 years on the force and trains the younger cops.
The officer who held his fire was younger but still had 11 years LE experience — probably early 30s.
No reason this kid should be dead unless there's more than the standard "he looked like he was going to shoot us"
And if all we have are LEO witnesses ... God will get the murderer ... HE always does.
Even Satan is denied the life of a man (Job)
“The shooter was 48 with 24 years on the force and trains the younger cops.”
And it appears that he may well have emptied his weapon into this child!! I mean EIGHT ROUNDS!!! He didn’t shoot to stop, he shot to kill! It isn’t enough for the county to have to pay out millions in reparations, because it does nothing to change the dynamic of how the sheriff’s deputies behave going forward. We were at our daughter’s in Petaluma (right next door to Santa Rosa and in the same county) on Sunday last for our grand daughter’s first birthday. This wanton killing pervaded what should have been a joyous occasion! And it made us all wonder just what kind of a life she will have to look forward to.
Wrongful death claims filed against county by Lopez’s parents
The three wrongful death claims state Lopez was unarmed, posed no risk of threat to the deputies or others and was shot without cause or provocation.
The claims also allege the use of force was condoned by the sheriff’s office.
“The Sheriff’s department’s training encourages deputies to prematurely shoot suspects who pose no threat or danger to deputies or the public at large,” the claims state.
It also is alleged the sheriff’s office failed to develop and implement policies, procedures and training regarding the use of deadly force and proper tactics for pedestrian stops.
“As a result of the absences of these policies, procedures and training, the deputies involved in the underlying incident were not prepared to safely deal with the circumstances and improperly used unnecessary and unreasonable force against Andy Lopez Cruz,” the claims state.
The sheriff’s office also is accused of negligently hiring and retaining the two deputies, who the claims state “have had prior incidents of excessive force,” and of failing to properly discipline them or terminate their employment. Both deputies are on paid administrative leave.
Goldstein said the allegations are “hyperbole that does a disservice to the dialogue in the community that is trying to understand what happened.”